Competitions and Resources

A growing list of writing Competitions, Resources, Festivals, Events and Opportunities.

Competitions through the year.

AWC Furious Fiction

Opens: 5pm (Sydney/Melbourne time) Monthly
Closes: 55 hours later
Open to: 17 years and older
Theme: Story prompt provided
Accepts: Flash Fiction
Size: 500 words
Entry Fee: Nil
Prize: Not mentioned

Flash 500 Flash Fiction Competition

Closing Date: Quarterly competitions – see website
Open to: All
Theme: None
Accepts: Flash Fiction
Size: 500 words
Entry Fee: £5 for one story, £8 for two stories
Prize:First: £300, Second: £200, Third: £100

Calling all wordsmiths and storytellers!

Hunter Writers’ Centre is pleased to announce the 2023 Newcastle Short Story Award is now open for submissions. With a first prize of $3,000, the Newcastle Short Story Award has gained recognition as one of Australia’s premier short story competitions, attracting high-calibre writers and esteemed judges.

Submissions open Monday 4th September, and close on Friday 20 October 2023 at 11:59pm. Click here for more information about the Newcastle Short Story Award.

– First Prize: $3,000
– Second Prize: $1,000
– Third Prize: $500
– Highly Commended: $200

Click here for more information on the New England Thunderbolt Prize

Open to: Australian Resident
Theme: Crime
Accepts: The New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Fiction
Size: 2,500 words
Entry Fee: $10, $5 for youth entries (Under 18)
Prize: $500
Accepts: The New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Non-Fiction
Size: 2,500 words
Entry Fee: $10, $5 for youth entries (Under 18)
Prize: $500
Accepts: The New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Poetry
Size: 60 lines
Entry Fee: $10, $5 for youth entries (Under 18)
Prize: $500

This competition is now closed. Watch this space for the 2024 competition.


Little Stories, Big Ideas
Closing Date: Quarterly competitions – see website
Open to: Australian Secondary School Students****** PLEASE NOTE
Theme: See website
Accepts: Any literary style – Year 10 – 12
Size: 100 words
Entry Fee: Nil
Prize:First: VentralIP Hosting and Domain Name Package (value $140), Second: Express Media membership and latest issue of Voiceworks magazine, Third: $50 voucher from Readings Bookstore
Accepts: Any literary style – Year 7 – 9
Size: 100 words
Entry Fee: Nil
Prize:First: $50 voucher from Readings Bookstore, Second: StoryCraft Writing Mentorship

This competition is now closed. Watch this space for the 2024 competition.

GCWA Short Story Competition 2023 is closed

Please watch this space for the 2024 competition.

First Prize $300 + certificate

Second Prize $150 + certificate

Third Prize $50 + certificate

Special Mention Prize TBA

The long list will be created by the GCWA Committee, and our guest judge will read the top entries and name the three winning entries. Winners are announced at the GCWA October meeting, and the three winners are published on the website.

2023 Special Guest Judge: Dr. Michael Brohier, Artistic Director Somerset Storyfest, Lori-Jay Ellis, CEO Queensland Writers Centre and Anne Varnes, Reading Services, Queensland Writers Centre

Submissions Open: Thursday 1 June 2023 Submissions Close: Thursday 31 August 2023

Word count–Up to 1000 words

Competition RULES 

  1. Come up with a creative title.
  2. We’re looking for short FICTION stories. We do not accept stories written for Children, Poetry, Memoir, non-fiction, or Erotica.) Please do not submit stories with gratuitous violence, sexism, racism, abuse, or animal cruelty.
  3. Entries exceeding the word limit (1000 words) will be ineligible.
  4. Entries must be the author’s original work and must be unpublished. The copyright remains with the author and can be published elsewhere after the competition.
  5. All submissions online. No hard-copy entries will be accepted.
  1. In the body of your submission email put your name, phone number, and email address, along with the title of your entry.
  2. Your name should not appear anywhere in your story. Applications will be judged anonymously. A story found to have the author’s identifying details will be ineligible. ANY QUESTIONS IN REGARDS TO THIS COMPETITION SHOULD BE EMAILED TO
  3. All entries must be in Times New Roman or Courier New 12-point type and double-spaced as an MS Word document. If you do not have Word, please send a PDF.
  4. Use 2cm margins all around.
  5. Indent each paragraph and dialogue 5mm.
  6. The title of the work and a page number should appear on each page.
  7. Do not include illustrations or images.
  8. GCWA committee and their families are not eligible to enter.
  9. The judges’ decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  10. Winners will be notified via phone call/email, in the GCWA Newsletter and at the October GCWA meeting. The top three entries will be published on the GCWA website.

Entry fee: Members – $10 Non-members -$20

Option to receive a detailed critique – Members only – $25

Unlimited entries can be submitted but each entry must be accompanied by the appropriate entry fee.

Judges are looking for the following:

  • Writing ability and readability. ‘Is it a good read?’
  • Story arc.
  • Adherence to the theme.
  • Spelling and Grammar.
  • The layout conforms to the competition guidelines.


Ready to Enter?

The annual Albury City Short Story Award is now closed. Watch this space for the 2024 competiition.

30TH SCARLET STILETTO AWARDS NOW CLOSED. Watch this space for the 2024 competition.

More Competitions and Workshops

Purple square logo with text reading Walker Books Manuscript Prize

For more information about the Walker Books Manuscript Prize click here.

Untapped: The Australian Literary Heritage Project. Rescuing lost books

Most Australian books ever written are now out-of-print and inaccessible to readers. That includes local histories and memoirs, beloved children’s titles – and even winners of our most glittering literary prizes, such as the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Read more about the Untapped project here.

The KYD Creative Non-Fiction Essay Prize is now closed. Watch this space for the 2024 competition.


Queensland Writers Centre presents a diverse annual Program of events, workshops and courses on the art, craft and business of writing. Hear from some of the most enlightening names in Queensland and Australian writing, improve your skills and get inspired with tools to uplift your writing and career.

For more information about Queensland Writers Centre’s Program and answers to FAQs, please visit our the 2023 Queensland Writers Centre program Info page.

Annual program. 2023 applications NOW CLOSED

Queensland Writers Centre’s national Publishable program for emerging writers is back for 2023 and calling for submissions of unpublished manuscripts across a broad range of genres and formats. 

Longlisted writers take part in a personalised manuscript development program with workshops and consultation sessions, while shortlisted writers receive a 5-hour mentorship with a writing industry professional, and are given the opportunity to pitch their work to leading Australian agents and publishers. Opportunities for feedback and development are available for all applicants, including a complimentary workshop tailored to the year’s cohort of applications – all helping you progress your manuscript closer to publication.

View the 2023 Publishable application guidelines and the 2023 Publishable application form.

Applications open every month from February – November.

Writing is often compared to making a long journey. You need to keep your momentum up in order to make it to the end – one foot in front of the other, right, then left, then…

Right Left Write is run in conjunction with QWC weekly newsletter, Pen & Pixel. Each month they announce a new genre theme in Pen & Pixel (check the latest edition for this month’s prompt), then it’s over to you to create a short story of up to 500 words and right, left, write. Members can enter for free and non-members can enter for a $5 fee.

Winning entries are published on the QWC website, in the newsletter, and in a regular anthology edition!

So make Right Left Write part of your routine and get writing.

Gold Coast Libraries

Gold Coast Libraries regularly run a great variety of writer’s workshops throughout the year. Read more about the Gold Coast Libraries event program here…

2023 E.M. Fletcher Writing Competition. Every family has a story – write yours now! The 2023 writing competition will open on 15 February 2023. Competition closed on 15 July 2023. Read more about the 2023 E.M. Fletcher Writing Competition

The 2023 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize is now open for entries. The Jolley Prize is worth a total of $12,500 and is for an original work of short fiction of between 2,000 and 5,000 words, written in English. Read more about 2023 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize

Australian literary festivals in 2023. Start planning your 2023 arts calendar with these literary festivals nationwide.

The Best Writing Contests of 2023. Writing competitions curated by Reedsy. Read more about Reedsy…

The Calibre Essay Prize is closed for 2023. Read more about the Calibre Essay Prize…

Manuscript Monday

Welcome to Manuscript Monday, a new initiative which is part of Pan Macmillan Australia’s manuscript submission process. If you’ve ever dreamed of getting published, and have a story you’d like to pitch, here’s your chance to have it read by a publisher. No more navigating the slush pile! On the first Monday of every month we will accept submissions between 10am and 4pm that are sent electronically and comply with the guidelines set out below.


Commercial fiction – women’s fiction, thriller, crime, historical, humour, paranormal, fantasy; a story can have romantic elements but romance will not be assessed

Literary fiction and non-fiction – novels, short stories, and narrative non-fiction only

Children’s books and young adult – junior and middle grade fiction, young adult/crossover fiction; we are not accepting picture book submissions

Commercial non-fiction – history, memoir, mind body spirit, travel, health, diet, biography

Please familiarise yourself with what we publish at do not publish scripts, plays, poetry, or romance and will not assess themAcademic submissions are not accepted during Manuscript Monday. Please see for submission guidelines for academic publications to Macmillan Education.

First prize: £5,000
One of the largest short story prizes, the winning story features in the anthology, so you will see your words in print, maybe for the first time. That’s not all. It opens up further opportunities where your story needs to have been published. You will be invited to the awards celebration and get insightful feedback from the judges and our professional partners. Read more about the Bridport Prize…

Globe Soup is a British collective whose mission is to encourage creativity inspired by the world around us!

Globe Soup offers regular free and paid competitions, resources, and courses. Read more about Globe Soup writing competitions…

40 Free Writing Contests: Legitimate Competitions With Cash Prizes. Read more about The Write Life..

AUSTRALIAN WRITERS’ RESOURCE – A comprehensive list of Competitions.

AJC Publishing – Manuscript Editing Services have a great list of Australia and overseas writing competitions. Read more about this list of competitions… (This post is not an advertisement nor an endorsement of AJC Publishing.)

The Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund recognises the unique value of travel in the development of writing and literary careers.

Date: Wed February 1 2023 9:00 am to Fri April 14 2023 11:59 pm

With: Writers Victoria and The Myer Foundation

Read more about the Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund

Applications for the Travel Fund for Literature are now closed for 2023.

Write for KYD – Kill Your Darlings.

Kill Your Darlings pays all contributors. Our minimum standard pay rate is $400 for an article of 1000-1500 words, and $100 for a book review of between 400-500 words. Read more about Kill Your Darlings

The Tasmanian Writers’ Prize is closed for 2023. Watch this space for next year’s competition.

A selection of the best entries will be published in the Forty South Short Story Anthology 2023. Read more about The Tasmanian Writers’ Prize…

When entering competitions or submitting to a publication, remember to always read the fineprint. Sticking to the rules is always a factor considered by the judges and editors.

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